Travellers arriving in the UK from red list countries have been welcomed by an infestation of rats at one of the quarantine hotels.
Four-star Heathrow lodging Mercure, which charges up to £200 per night for a double room, faces a widespread rodent problem according to hotel guests, MyLondon reported.
A traveller said he was forced to move rooms twice after spotting rats in rooms, even waiting alone with a rodent while waiting for a security guard to turn up.
The York resident told York Central MP Rachael Maskell, who swiftly urged the government to "Shut the place down" – and put arrivals' needs before private profits.
Maskell tweeted: "The Mercure London Heathrow quarantine hotel is rat infested.
"My constituent has already moved rooms twice; others too.
"Rats everywhere = a public health risk.
“Government made him pay £1,750. Private profit, not public safety. #refundnow.
"Shut the place down.”
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The MP explained to MyLondon that her constituent was left traumatised by the shocking incident.
She explained: “My constituent contacted me to raise his concern last week about the rat. We followed that through and got him moved in the hotel.
“He contacted me this morning to highlight he’s had another rat in his new room and has been moved again.
“As he was moving, other clients were moving rooms due to seeing rats in the building.”
“It’s about time the government got a grip on what’s happening in the quarantine process. People are living in substandard accommodation, getting poor food and poor care.
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“The fact people aren’t able to leave their rooms means people are trapped in their rooms until security arrives."
A government spokesperson said: “Guests should raise any issues directly with the hotel in the first instance, and we expect them to do their utmost to address any concerns.
“Our top priority has always been protecting the public and the robust border and testing regime we have in place is helping minimise the risk of new variants coming into the UK.”
Meanwhile a Mercure spokesperson told the Evening Standard they always put the wellbeing of guests first.
They said: “We have made direct contact with the guest in question and are investigating the issues raised by them. We take complaints such as this very seriously.
“The safety of all our guests and staff members is of the upmost importance to us and continues to be our number one focus.
"The hotel continues to abide by all quarantine guidelines, cleaning protocols and safety measures as set out by the government.”
Arrivals from the 60 red list countries are obligated to spend £1,750 on a ten-day stay at a government-chosen hotel.
The 16 selected sites comprise 4,600 rooms near London, Birmingham and Farnborough.
Travellers who lie about their journey on passenger locator forms face fines of up to £10k and as much as five years in prison.
Countries on the red list include Brazil, Chile, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines.
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